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Australian - former Rushdenites

Rushden Echo, 19th November 1915, transcribed by Kay Collins

From Australia to Rushden – In Order to Enlist
Sixth Attempt Succeeds

A second son of Mr. W. A. Evans, proprietor of the Queen Victoria Hotel, Rushden, has enlisted in his Majesty’s Forces, viz., Mr. Frank Evans, who has journeyed from Australia, via San Francisco and the Panama Canal, for the express purpose of joining the colours. He has made five previous attempts to join, but was rejected as he failed to pass the eyesight test. He has now been accepted with the 3/5th East Surrey Regt. His brother, Battery Sergt.-Major C. W. Evans, of the R.F.A., leaves for the front this week.

The Rushden Echo, 9th June 1916, transcribed by Gill Hollis

Rushden Family’s Loss - Lce-Corpl. F. Steele Killed

We regret to report that news has been received this (Friday) morning, from unofficial sources, that Lance-Corpl. F. Steele, of the Machine Gun Section, the Norfolks, brother of Mr. W. Steele, Victoria-road, Rushden, was killed in action on June 5th.

The sad information is sent by Lance-Corpl. Huggins of the same regiment who said that five men, including Lance-Corpl. Steele, were all killed in their dug-out whilst working their gun. The deceased soldier was 26 years of age, and had been at the front 18 months. At the outbreak of war he was in Australia, from whence he was called up as a reservist. He at once proceeded to England and joined his old regiment, the 1st Norfolks. [the family lived in Wentworth Road in 1901]

Rushden Echo, 16th February 1917, transcribed by Kay Collins

German Dug-Outs Over Sixty Feet Deep
Difficult to Get at – Rushden “Colonial” Visits Home
War to End This Year

Mr. and Mrs. C. Chamberlain, of Wellingborough-road, Rushden, have had a pleasurable surprise in the visit home of their son, Pte. A. Chamberlain (5th Australian Field Ambulance), whom they had not seen for nine years. Pte. Chamberlain was in Australia at the outbreak of war, and he at once joined up as stretcher-bearer attached to the 5th Australian Field Ambulance. He had many thrilling experiences in the Gallipoli campaign, and not only did he contract dysentery, but he also received an injury to the spine through being buried in a sap which was blown up. This mishap sent him into hospital at Malta for three months. Subsequently he was sent to Egypt, and later to France, where he arrived on March 22nd last.

He has done valued service at various parts of the Western line, and has been on the Somme front for upwards of five months. He is one of nine comrades who remain out of an original platoon strength of 80 who went to Gallipoli. This is Pte. Chamberlain’s first leave, and naturally he is spending it with his parents.

The Allies’ artillery, he says, is vastly superior to that of the Germans, and the war, in his opinion will be finished this year. Some of the German dug-outs, he states, are at a depth of 60 feet; under these conditions it is very difficult to get at the enemy.

If the bombs which are thrown into the dug-outs do not settle them, they come up with machine guns after the trench has been occupied, and cause many casualties amongst the British troops in this way.

Pte. Chamberlain pays striking tribute to the fighting powers of the Colonial troops, who, he says, are well backed up by Scotch troops.

Rushden Echo, 23rd February 1917, transcribed by Kay Collins

Sinking of the White Star Liner
Rushden Resident Rescued – By German Submarine
Those of our readers who were aware of the fact that a Rushden resident Mr. Hy. Joyce, was an able-seaman on the White Star liner, S.S. Georgie, recently sunk by a German submarine, will be pleased to hear that Mr. Joyce’s mother, Mrs. Mason, of 23 Carnegie-street, Rushden, on Tuesday received a postcard from her son to the effect that he is a prisoner at Dulmen, Westf., Germany. The postcard is dated January 28th last, and states that no communications are to be sent to Dulmen.

Beyond this there is no other information, not even with relation to his health, but it is evident that, after sinking the Georgie, the German submarine picked up at least one of the liner’s crew.

Mr. Joyce, previous to the outbreak of war, spent some time in Australia, and returned to England on the outbreak of war to serve his country in the Navy, and went through several naval engagements. He became an able-seaman on the Georgie not long before the ship was sunk.

Rushden Echo Friday 15th June 1917, transcribed by Susan Manton

Wymington Man in Hospital - Private E.W. Lilley
A former Rushden Railway Employee
Mr. W.C. Lilley, of Wymington, has received a field-card dated June 9th from his son, Pte. E. W. Lilley, of the Australian Contingent, to say that he has been wounded and admitted into hospital. This is all the information his father had received up to yesterday and he is anxiously awaiting further news.

The wounded soldier was in Australia at the outbreak of war and enlisted in the Colonial forces two years last May. He went to France about twelve months ago, and was in Egypt previously. Last November he spent a few days leave with his father at Wymington.

He went to Australia in the June prior to the outbreak of war and before emigrating was in the employment of the Midland Railway company.

Rushden Echo, Friday 25th October 1917, transcribed by Kay Collins

WoundedGnr. Hanbury Ashdowne, of the Australian Artillery, son of the late Mr J Wykes Ashdowne, formerly the manager of the Union Bank at Rushden, and Mrs Ashdowne, of Great Houghton, is in Rouen Hospital with wounds in the leg, caused by shrapnel on October 5th. This is the second time that he has been wounded, the first time being in December last. Gnr. Ashdowne, who was educated at Wellingborough and Bedford Schools, went out to Australia in 1910, taking up religious work in connection with the Bush Brotherhood.

Rushden Echo, 25th October, 1918

Rushden’s Casualty List - Victims of The War
Mrs. Samuel Dawson, of 4, South-terrace, Rushden, has received news that her eldest son, Corpl. William Dawson, Australian Contingent, has been severely wounded.  He has three wounds, the worst being in the shoulders and back.  This is the second time he has been wounded, and he was in Rushden on leave early this year.  Corpl. Dawson, who is now in hospital at Devonport, is a brother of Mrs. F. Elmer, of 88, Cromwell-road, Rushden, whose husband, Mr. F. Elmer, is the secretary of the local branch of the Discharged and Demobilised Sailors and Soldiers Federation.  On Wednesday morning Mrs. Elmer received a letter from her brother in which he says: “I am progressing fairly well, but some days I am a great deal better than others, but there is nothing serious now.”  He further inquires after his brother-in-law (Mr. Frank Elmer), and adds: “I saw his name mentioned in the “Rushden Echo” and his interest in the discharged heroes.  I wish him every success.”  Corpl. Dawson, who enlisted in Australia, had been in the Commonwealth five years prior to the date of his enlistment.

Rushden Echo. 11th January 1918, transcribed by Kay Collins

Enlisted in America—Mr. H. Staniland, of Moor-road, Rushden, has received a letter from his son, Mr. Herbert Cecil Staniland, stating that he has enlisted In the Quartermasters’ Corps of the Army as a fireman, and he gives his address as: “Quartermasters’ Corps, Camp Johnston, Jacksonville, Florida, U.S.A.” Before joining the Army, he was engaged in taking interned German ships from San Franciso to New York, and since leaving Rushden a few years ago he has been through Alaska, in Peru, Mexico, and the Canadian States. In the course of his letter he asks that the “Rushden Echo” shall be sent to him regularly as in the past, and proceeds, “The Quatermasters’ Corps corresponds with the A.S.C. of the English Army. This is a fine place, and a bunch of good fellows are here, and likely to remain good, because beer and liquor are prohibited to those in the service of this country. The Y.M.C.A. make it very comfortable for us. They have concerts and picture shows for us every evening. We receive 30 dollars a month (with all found) on home service, and 33 dollars when on active service—for privates, of course. For a few cents a month the Government will insure us for any amount up to 10,000 dollars, to be paid in case of death or total disablement, payable at so much a month for a period of 20 years. If we fail to insure, the authorities keep back half our pay until the end of the war, and pay 4 per cent. interest on it.”

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